by Raul Agner
It was a long and winding path that Christian Ceasar Pineda had to tread before he was finally able to set foot on a more pleasant landscape. His difficult climb to the second uppermost spot in the March 2008 Landscape Architect Licensure Examination goes back to when he was but a kid.
A 1994 BS Architecture graduate of Adamson University, Chris and his siblings grew up shuttling between their mother’s and their father’s – sometimes their uncle’s – house after their parents separated. He was barely four then and this moving about extended all the way to his college days. Born in Quezon City in 1972 to Ernesto Pineda and Nancy Evelyn Pineda, both of Pampanga, he graduated valedictorian from the Ramon Avancena High School in 1989. He then enrolled in Adamson, enjoying a full PESFA (Private Education Student Financial Assistance) scholarship from the beginning until he finished his course.
Today, Chris Pineda is based in the Middle East working for WS Atkins, an internationally renowned structural engineering, design, and architecture company. He is the Senior Landscape Architect there and is happy to be in the center of all the mega architectural buzz and boom in full throttle that part of the globe. Sure the job pays well, but it is in being able to give something big as a Filipino—and as an Adamsonian—that he finds most fulfilling. But in spite of the lofty perch he is in now, this Falcon can not forget his stay in the University. He reminisces with joy and pride the good old days in Adamson when he and his friends had to help each other out especially during the advent of the feared thesis defense. Spending late nights in other friends’ houses, sweating out on projects, cramming for the deliberations, and developing teamwork and camaraderie are valued memories. He and his friends even creatively fashioned a way of coaching each other during the thesis deliberations by signaling to each other keywords that instantly recalled answers to difficult questions. “The difficult times,” he says, “are the most memorable. My days in Adamson were very straightforward. I wouldn't really say there were a lot of happy moments. I was there for a purpose, to study and graduate so I can have a good job. I even enrolled during summers so I could graduate in five years.”
Asked for some personal reflection, he waxes philosophical. He likens life to an architectural structure where his parents who gave him good education are the foundation, his siblings the shell – walls and roof that give protection, his friends and society in general the landscape that gives color and meaning to life and God the terra firma where he stands. “Take away any of these and I’ll surely crumble,” he states.
His message to fellow Adamsonians: “We all have the potential to make a difference. No matter how small or simple our contribution may be, the ripple effect will be enormous. We are Adamsonians.”
Architect Pineda may be up high in the firmament of early success but his feet remain rooted in the ground. He is a precious addition to the numerous alumni the current crop of Adamson students can draw strength and inspiration from.